If FuturLab can continue adding creative levels, further flesh out the Career mode, and implement its planned multiplayer and "experimental" mechanics, PowerWash Simulator will be in a great place. As is, it's definitely good enough to recommend. Not so much "oddly satisfying" as it is "satisfying, period."
If you're thinking of playing Among Trees and you know you need extrinsic motivators to hold your interest, you'll want to wait until the Early Access schedule is further along. If you're down for a laid-back forest hiking game and you enjoy charting your own course just for the heck of it, give it a chance.
As it stands, you should absolutely hold off on Surgeon Simulator: Experience Reality for PlayStation VR until the controls are overhauled in the planned update. I ended up having some fun once I learned how to work around those glaring issues to a certain extent, but even in the best of times, it was a struggle. It's a shame the launch went this way, because there's an entertaining VR experience buried in here.
Jordan: That's spot on with how I feel. As much as I want to like Energy Hook -- the concept itself is sound, and should work -- the whole thing comes across as unfinished and unpolished. Even when the stars align and the game seems to play as intended, the feeling is fleeting. It lacks staying power.
My fear is that the situation won't improve fast enough, assuming it ever really does get better down the road. Despite its rough edges, the PC version has been successful for years now, and I have to imagine 7 Days to Die will also do well on consoles where competition among these types of sandbox survival experiences isn't so fierce. With that in mind, it's disappointing to see this sold on Xbox One and PS4 (with a retail release!) as if it is completed game. It clearly is not. After some substantial updates, I'd potentially want to give it another chance, but as is I wouldn't want to spend another minute with it.
Recounting my experience to coworkers, I was at a loss for how Slain! could look and sound as good as it does while failing to deliver on essentially every other aspect. While the developers have heard similar feedback from players and have publicly promised improvements, the game's problems lie in its foundation. I'm sure it can and probably will get better over time with polish, but what's here at launch is disappointing. I struggle to picture Slain! ever becoming genuinely good barring major reworks.
The only other bright spot is the Kaiju Guide, a collection detailing the playable creatures as well as quite a few not featured. I adored seeing old stills from the films and, sure, there is a certain appeal to playing as a bunch of these guys. But the feeling fades before long. A love of the movies can only get you so far when the experience is this frustrating and hollow. What a letdown.
As much as I loathe this implementation of loot boxes, I still keep playing Battlefront II and I will probably continue to do so on and off. I mean, I do like the game. I just wish it wasn't being squandered like this. You'd be well-advised to wait until overhauls arrive -- assuming they ever do.
Dexed is the kind of thing you might play a few times, in short sittings, and never return to again. There's not enough here to earn your continued interest, and while the on-rails shooting works well and seems promising at first, the game it's attached to fails to build on that initial seed of an idea.
All told, there's a decent game in here somewhere, but it's bogged down by annoying difficulty spikes and movement and aiming controls that never feel quite right. Even without those issues, Rocketbirds 2 does little if anything we haven't seen before. Its premise and world can only take it so far.
Battlefield 2042 feels like it could become a cool game, but it’s tantalizingly out of reach today. There’s enough promise with the satisfying-when-it-works gunplay, large-scale chaos (that’s starting to feel more controlled over time), and fantastic legacy Battlefield content in Portal that I’ll stick around for a bit. It didn’t have to be this way, though.
As much as I feel like this series is stuck in the shadow of Until Dawn for a large part of the audience, collectively, The Dark Pictures Anthology is becoming something memorable in its own right. I’ll keep enjoying these games as long as I can, House of Ashes included.
Despite some disappointing and frustrating moments, there’s enough compelling stuff that I can still recommend In Sound Mind to fans of adventure-leaning indie horror games. Overall, I dug this team’s ambition, and I was excited to see where it was headed. I just wish the game ran better and streamlined some of its level and puzzle design.
My favorite part of The Medium ended up being its "semi-fixed cameras," which blend old and new design philosophies in a way that seems genuinely palatable in 2021. That's the real achievement here. I can easily picture a more well-rounded sequel happening, and for what it's worth, I hope it does.